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Poster: Glenn Walker Date: Nov 21, 2013 12:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why do so many people have a beef with Donna?

Fair enough; Backing away from the misogyny angle for a second, has anybody taken an analytic look at what she was up against in a live setting? Just the dB's alone must have been ear-splitting. Did she have any monitors at all? Ear plugs?

Any woman who would attempt what she ( or Janis. Or Kira. Or Grace. Et Al. ) did performance wise, given the imposed limitations of equipment, gender, and fan tolerance, should be given honorary brass testicles. Large ones. Regardless of whether her vocals harshed your mellow occasionally.

She tried, she wailed, she occassionally failed. Way braver than I ever will be.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 21, 2013 11:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why do so many people have a beef with Donna?

Hey GW, I am one of the "haters" but I try not to talk about it too much as the truth is during my primary years, she was along, and never bothered me much then (we did talk about it, but it wasn't anything like how much it is talked about here). IE, from 74 to 79 we never thought much about her, and it was only via tapes we'd joke about it...

But, the truth is I am not really sure she added much even when she wasn't screeching; my wife, a relatively accomplished amateur singer, brought this out to me yrs ago...we were debating if she added anything--Donna--to Row Jimmy, which I always used as my "exhibit 1, Donna is good".

Well, the wife and her choir going friends all made clear, "no!"...after a few "gak! OMG?!" interruptions, my wife's friend just said here's how that's done...and bingo, sang along w Jerry and rendered a much more in tune harmony...well, something that to my ear seemed better; they all felt strongly that she wasn't singing harmonies in the proper "key" which I don't know from my car's ignition...

That's all I got; maybe some "real" singers here can comment; and I don't mean "whiners" like SDH...

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Nov 21, 2013 6:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why do so many people have a beef with Donna?

Then your wife could be suggested as the Other Singer Besides Donna :-)

Actually, to me it doesn't really matter that other people "could" have added the same harmonies ... I'm sure they could have ... but Row Jimmy is my Exhibit 1, too, and not because Donna is so much better than any other theoretical person (Emmylou? The choir singer down the block with the pretty voice?) but because it does sound beautiful to me and it adds something that makes it "right." Other people could have played rhythm "better" than Bob, say, but they didn't and it works.

So I'd say it's not about whether someone is technically amazing or just ordinary or harmoniously wrong. It's whether it works in the context. My husband mixed oregano with tamarind in a fish sauce the other day, and that is just wrong. (I also suspect he tossed in a carryout chutney mix that I'd earlier added chili pickle to, so it gets wronger and wronger.) But it worked. That's Donna.